Rockstar Games

How many copies did Max Payne sell? — 2023 statistics

In the crosshairs of the bullet time chronicles.

First Released
July 23, 2001
Third-person shooter
Remedy Entertainment
Rockstar Games

Games are set in many universes, with some of them being focused on fantasy elements or sci-fi scapes, and all games belong to a certain genre that caters to at least one group of individuals. Max Payne is such a series, but it expresses itself more as a Hollywood neo-noir drama with tons of action and violence than anything else. The games are set in a world of crime and conflict and are great for gamers looking to scratch that particular itch. To celebrate the 20+ years that the Max Payne series has been on the market, we’re going to be presenting you with some Max Payne statistics and facts to dive into the details of this fantastic series. We don’t just talk about single releases around here, so if you have any questions like “How much money does the video game industry make?”, we’ve got all the answers.

Max Payne key stats

We’ll take a direct approach here, so this is the only section we’re adding which will include some basic statistical information about the Max Payne series ranging from total copies sold to revenue grossed, and everything else will deal with the latest information on the series as well as key points in its timeline that allows you to have a clear perspective on why it is successful and why it’s worth playing.

The Max Payne series has sold 11.5 million copies.

(Source: VG Chartz, Video Gamer)

  • The original Max Payne sold 4 million copies.
  • Max Payne 3 sold 4 million copies.
  • Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne sold 513,000 copies on Steam.

In the first line of stats, we immediately see that Max Payne did not have as much success as other games released at the same time as the mainline titles in the series, but that is to be expected since Max Payne falls into a niche of games pertaining to specific topics and a unique setting that differs from mainstream games. The games still performed solidly, but sometimes you might wonder if there was something that Take-Two could have done to make it better.

Take-Two lost $110 million because of Max Payne 3 in 2012.

(Source: Games Industry)

  • In the fiscal year 2013, Take-Two saw its net losses swell from $8.6 million to $110.8 million.
  • Their total sales declined from $334.4 million to $226.1 million.
  • At that time, Max Payne 3 had sold only 3 million copies.
  • Year-over-year increases in digital sales for Take-Two increased by 33% around this time.
  • Max Payne wasn’t the only title to blame since Spec Ops: The Line also had a poor performance.

This was a major point in the history of Max Payne where the developers had to seriously ask themselves if producing more games was even worthwhile, considering the failure of Max Payne 3 to meet expectations. The game moved nowhere after this and there is no telling what went on with the series internally, later.

The Max Payne series made $46 million on Steam.

(Source: VG Insights)

  • Max Payne made $6.8 million in gross revenue on Steam.
  • Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne made $3.6 million in gross revenue on Steam.
  • Max Payne 3 made 35.6 million in gross revenue on Steam.

This is some information for the gross revenue generated by the Max Payne series on Steam exclusively since there are no other sources to definitely confirm accurate earnings across all platforms. $46 million is not that much to make on a fairly popular IP on a single platform, considering that two of the names sold over 4 million copies, so realistically we should be looking at at least double the amount of money earned.

Max Payne 3 had to sell 4 million copies just to break even.

(Source: GameRant, ShackNews, Destructoid)

  • Rockstar Games invested over $105 million into the game during its development.
  • The chances for the game to break even or make a profit were described as a “snowball’s chance in hell”.
  • The problem with its sales and production cost was that it was a niche action game, while other genres like Call of Duty or NBA2K could move those numbers without issues.
  • The game sold 440,000 copies in its first month and was called a flop.

This is another line of stats that shows us the shortcomings of Max Payne 3. In reality, nothing was gained financially from making the game since it sold exactly as many copies as it needed to even out its production costs, but that was still not enough to keep Take-Two from losing a massive amount of money, as we’ve mentioned in point #2.

Max Payne and Max Payne 2 are getting remastered by Remedy.

(Source: Fanbyte, Video Games Chronicle)

  • Remedy could not remaster the games earlier due to licensing issues and issues with Rockstar.
  • However, the two companies managed to strike an agreement that would allow Remedy to work on their original franchise again.
  • At the time of writing, there has been no additional information released regarding the remasters.
  • Both of the games will be using the Northlight engine.
  • They will be sold in a single package release.

This is the latest piece of information regarding this series that might just breathe some new life into it. Max Payne 1 and 2 were awesome games and quite enjoyable, so we’re sure that the series’ loyal fan base is eagerly expecting these games to take them all the way back to their roots.

The Max Payne movie topped the US box office in 2008.

(Source: GamesRadar)

  • The movie received scathing reviews but ended up grossing $18 million.
  • It beat Beverly Hills Chihuahua, The Secret Life of Bees, W, Eagle Eye, and Body of Lies.
  • It has a rating of 15% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 5.3/10 rating on IMDB.

The movie was poorly-made, that’s true. It did not specifically adhere to the story standards set by the game, so you shouldn’t be surprised that it doesn’t feel like an authentic Max Payne experience. Nevertheless, it still topped the US box office in 2008 and it beat some other expected films for the top position. Granted, the movies it beat were not that good anyway.

The Max Payne brand was told to Take-Two for $34 million in 2002.

(Source: Game Developer)

  • The deal was made for $10 million in cash and 969,932 shares of stock which were valued at $24 million.
  • This deal was made when Max Payne had sold 2.75 million copies worldwide.
  • The deal contained the Max Payne brand and all intellectual property rights, essentially giving Take-Two the freedom to use anything from the Max Payne series for whatever purpose it wished.
  • This was one of the first times a highly successful gaming IP transferred ownership.

This line of stats serves just to show us when Max Payne’s ownership was transferred to Take-Two by Remedy and for exactly how much money. Today, you will most likely find that IP acquisitions are made for much more money than $34 million, and that is because this is a different time with different capabilities for games and their developers. This acquisition was also a historical moment for the gaming industry, so it is worth mentioning.

Max Payne has killed over 2000 people across all of the games.

(Source: Kotaku)

  • Across 11 years, Max Payne killed a total of 2241 people.
  • In Max Payne, you kill 652 people.
  • In Max Payne 2, you kill 373 people.
  • Max Payne 3 takes a step up and has you kill 1216 people.

And for the final line of stats, we found some interesting information regarding exactly how many people you kill across all three Max Payne games, and… it’s a lot. Video game protagonists kill people all the time, but Max Payne is teetering on the edge of concerning. While Max’s kill count is pretty high, it just goes to show how violent the games are and how the violence is turned up to 11 for Max Payne 3.

To sum up

Alright, that’s all for the Max Payne series. As you can see, the series is quite popular for a niche of games in the gaming community, but it hasn’t had much recent news surrounding it except for the remaster announcement, which no one was particularly expecting. Max Payne embodies everything you would expect out of a blockbuster Hollywood crime movie, and that is shown in the series’ sales and general performance on the gaming market. While we wait for any additional news surrounding the remakes of the first two games to arise, feel free to check back here for updates regarding this excellent series!


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  • “Take-Two loses $110m on lower than expected sales of Max Payne, Spec Ops”. Games Industry, 2012,
  • “Max Payne – Steam Stats”. VG Insights, 2023,
  • “Max Payne 3 – Steam Stats”. VG Insights, 2023,
  • “‘Max Payne 3’ Must Sell At Least 4 Million Units To Break Even”. GameRant, 2011,
  • “Remedy Remaking Max Payne 1 & 2 in Association with Rockstar Games”. Fanbyte, 2022,
  • “Max Payne 3 sells 440K in debut month, called ‘a flop'”. ShackNews, 2012,
  • “Max Payne 3 potentially cost $105 million to develop”. Destructoid, 2011,
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  • “Max Payne Killed Over 2000 People In 11 Years”. Kotaku, 2020,
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